A Salvadoran Immigrant Who Fled Civil War When He Was 13 May Have Written Roadmap For SCOTUS To Overturn CO’s Ruling

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Brianna Lyman News and Commentary Writer
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El Salvador-native and Colorado Supreme Court Justice Carlos Samour, who dissented in the unprecedented case barring former President Donald Trump from the state ballot, may have written the roadmap for the Supreme Court to overturn the historic ruling.

The Colorado Supreme Court ruled 4-3 Tuesday that Trump violated the 14th Amendment’s “insurrectionist ban” and is ineligible to be on the ballot in the state. The ruling is on hold pending an appeal to the Supreme Court until Jan. 4. The issue must be settled by Jan. 5, which is when the statutory deadline is to set the list of candidates for the Republican primary.

But it is Samour’s dissent that could help guide the Supreme Court to its decision to — as many legal scholars expect — overturn the decision.

“The decision to bar former President Donald J. Trump – by all accounts the current leading Republican presidential candidate (and reportedly the current leading overall presidential candidate) – from Colorado’s presidential primary ballot flies in the face of the due process doctrine,” Samour said.

One of the main points of contention is who or what body has the power to enforce or carry out Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, which says individuals who engaged in an insurrection may not hold office. Section 5 of the same amendment says Congress has the power to pass laws to enforce section 3. (RELATED: California Lt Gov Makes Embarrassing Error While Trying To Remove Trump From Ballot)

In Samour’s dissent, he argues Congress passed a law in 1870 allowing for both civil and criminal enforcement of Section 3, though the law was repealed and replaced in 1948. The new law, 18 U.S.C § 2383, says an individual can be banned from holding office if they are charged and convicted under the law. Trump has not been charged under said statute, as pointed out by Samour.

Samour’s dissent therefore rests on the argument that Congress, and only Congress, has the authority to pass legislation enforcing Section 3 of the 14th Amendment. Congress did in fact do so when it enacted the 1948 criminal statute, which states only when someone is convicted under said statute can they be removed.